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Achieving Work Life Balance

Life balance is a buzzword these days for good reason. It’s a chronic issue that comes up in conversation because quite simply, life has become harder to manage. With email, Crackberry’s and everything else demanding our attention it’s no wonder we get bogged down in to-do lists and wonder at the end of the day where the time went. We’re expected to work faster and more efficiently, plus we’re more accessible than ever because of new technology that allows us to work or communicate from anywhere. Information comes at us faster than ever. And this trend shows no sign of stopping.

So what can you do to create balance in your life today? Here are some tips:

1. Step One: Make a list of the different areas of your life where you’re not spending as much time and energy as you’d like. For example, if you’ve lost touch with friends and family or aren’t connecting with them as frequently as you want to, put that down. Come up with at least 3 areas that need work in terms of your time and attention.

a. In each of these 3 areas, identify one action step you can take in the next week to improve upon that area. Will you make a commitment to call one friend in the next week, or spend time with at least one family member? Make the action step simple, realistic and give yourself a deadline. Taking one step in each of these areas will create greater balance in your life. Continue to do this every week until you develop a habit of attending to the areas of your life that are important to you.

2. Step Two: Learn to Balance Work and Personal Time. If work is one of those areas that’s taking over your life, try to better manage your work time and attention.

a. Turn off your blackberry, phone and/or email when you need focused time to work on a project.

b. Set your email to only check emails when you press send/receive, not every time an email comes through. Having the email buzz at you whenever you receive a new message is incredibly distracting.

c. Turn off your voicemail or email chime on your phone. Make a commitment to only check your voicemail and email twice a day at certain times.

When you create greater balance in your life you will experience: greater fulfillment, effectiveness, and productivity. You will be less stressed and won’t get sick as often. And most importantly you’ll be leading the life you want to lead!

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach